Monday, March 31, 2014

The other day, I was at lunch with a friend. In the middle of our conversation, she noticed I didn't have my lip ring on. It's funny because I always tend to wonder if people pay attention to little things like that, and she did. She told me how I always play with my lip ring when I'm deep in thought or just concentrating on something. The irony of this, is that I rarely hang out with her.

Not long after that, a friend of mine came through the drive thru at work.... and I took her card as she paid for her order.... I had to walk to a different register so it took me a bit. Jokingly, I told her I was taking her credit card information, and she responded with, "that's okay, I trust you". She said I'd probably use it to buy something for someone in need.

Another friend told me he loved my passion. He mentioned how people can know a little bit about a lot of different things, but I will know a lot about one thing.

These things are kind of a big deal. Maybe not to most people, but I'm not most people. I'm a deep person that appreciated even the smallest things like that. I appreciate it when people who love me actually know me. It makes me feel like they value me enough to pay attention to me... but it also had me thinking.

I wonder how much I actually pay attention to these trivial things in others. If you were to give me a quiz about you, I wonder how many answers I would get wrong. Makes me wonder how people can love me enough to notice these things when I don't know how much I actually notice about them.

I think it's a major component on how we love people. Love is in the grand and the small details, and when applied, the tiniest details matter. Just think of God. He knows the very number of the hairs on our head. That's not really a detail that seems important to me, but for someone to love me enough to know that about me... well, it changes how I see myself.

If we want people to know they matter, we have to show them that they do. That takes time and effort and won't always be easy. But we shouldn't treat it as if they were projects either. That's what makes me love these responses from my friends. They made me feel like they value me enough to know me enough. I can only hope to live out a valuing nature toward others just as much.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My niece, Elizabeth, was only three months when I moved away from Arizona. My first visit home was when she was six months old. Then again at nine months. I didn't get to see her live these months the way I did her older brother and sister. But she still knew who I was. She recognized my face and smiled at me when she realized who I was each time. My latest visit was the one where her and I got to really bond. She just turned three and is an absolute beauty. I love her laugh and when she smiles. I love hearing her tell me she loves me. I love when she sits with me to watch a movie. I love what she teaches me.

One of the days during my visit, I went with my sister and all the kids to a church picnic. Elizabeth wanted to go into the bounce house they had, so I walked with her there. She climbed in with no problem, but as soon as she was inside, she was scared. Other kids were having a blast bouncing around, and there she was scared to do anything. She's tiny, so it was hard for her to try to stand up. She sat there until I had this idea. I stuck my hands through the net and told her to hold on to them.... so she took hold and stood up and bounced. Not once did she let go of my hands, but she had a blast jumping in that one spot.

The last day I was there, we were at the park and the kids were playing. I noticed Elizabeth was on this little platform that spins, and she was crying. I went to her and picked her up and asked her what was wrong. She said she was spinning too fast and got scared. So I told her I would spin her very slowly... She stood up and took hold of one of my hands as I spinned her.

I wanted to paint this scenario for you because I think that her trust in me gave her an unwavering confidence. She was able to do what she was scared to do as long as I was holding her hand. It was such a bonding moment for me..... but also a great lesson.

You see, I tend to think this is how our relationship with God works. We fear but when He holds our hand, it feels like we can do anything. Even more, I think He takes delight in us taking hold of His hand. I loved it when Elizabeth held my hand... It made me feel needed and it comforted her knowing I wouldn't let her fall. I truly believe that God delights in us the same way..... I believe He delights in us allowing ourselves to need Him, and not wanting to take one more step without Him... And when we do take His hand, we can have the time of our lives and experience true joy in the things we step up in. So hop into the bounce house, take His hand, and jump like you've never jumped before.